Challenges of choosing verification engines, AMD’s ARM-based Bristol Ridge PRO APUs with extended support (News roundup 5 October 2016)

  • Ed Sperling from Semiconductor Engineering highlights ARM’s insight on the challenges of choosing verification engines, quoting Bill Neifert as stating, “It’s the interaction of things that becomes challenging. You can just debug any single one. We had a customer problem once. When the memory latency was shortened by a cycle the performance went down by half. That involved a setting between the processor, the interconnect and the memory. And it was only one setting, with an exact combination, did that. Unfortunately, it’s not just a single problem.”
  • Several reporters including Ian Cutress from AnandTech highlight the release of AMD’s ARM-based Bristol Ridge PRO APUs with extended support, noting, “With the PRO APUs, AMD uses an ARM Cortex-A5 to implement ARM TrustZone, offering software agnostic (compared to Intel which does not) support for hardware-based security. This includes Secure Boot, Content Protection, per-Application security, fTPM 2.0, and support for Microsoft Device Guard, Windows Hello, independent fingerprint security, data protection and Bitlocker, among other things. AMD supports this via the DASH management protocol, which is ultimately CPU agnostic and allows users of other DASH systems to get up to speed.”
  • Several reporters including Agam Shah from IDG News report that Intel will incorporate a 64-bit ARM processor in its new Stratix 10 FPGA, sharing, “ARM CPUs have been used in Altera FPGAs, but the Cortex-A53 in Stratix 10 shows Intel isn't shying away from the latest ARM technology. There's also the possibility of Intel eliminating the ARM CPU for x86 in its integrated Xeon FPGA chip. Intel and ARM have feuded in the past on architectural superiority, sometimes indulging in petty arguments over power and performance. Intel wants to put its x86 chips in as many devices as possible, but it is willing to tap into ARM CPU designs when necessary.”